HC Wainwright Initiates Coverage On Upcoming Complement Franchise Company Apellis Pharmaceuticals

HC Wainwright Initiates Coverage On Upcoming Complement Franchise Company Apellis Pharmaceuticals
  • HC Wainwright has initiated coverage on Apellis Pharmaceuticals Inc APLS with a Buy rating and a $75 price target.
  • The analyst expects Apellis's C3 inhibitor, pegcetacoplan, to be approved and become a blockbuster in geographic atrophy (GA) with peak sales of over $2 billion. 
  • Pegcetacoplan is already approved in IV formulation for a life-threatening blood disorder PNH under the brand name Empaveli, where it has shown itself to be more effective than Alexion's C5 inhibitors, the analyst notes.
  • HC Wainwright sees peak sales for Empaveli approaching $1 billion in PNH and other key label expansion opportunities. 
  • Earlier today, Apellis submitted its US marketing application for GA and could receive approval before year-end representing a meaningful catalyst for shares. 
  • A market cap of $4.8 billion implies that investors are crediting the company's C3 franchise with blockbuster potential. But the analyst does not fully appreciate the opportunity for pegcetacoplan to generate sales above $2.5 billion in GA alone. 
  • Additionally, the company has significant strategic value for larger companies that recognize the need for a proven complement-focused platform, says HC Wainwright.
  • Price Action: APLS shares are up 18.30% at $52.97 during the market session on the last check Tuesday.

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